Faith communities can play an important role in troubling times and both video streaming technology and social media are playing an important role in helping people stay connected.
This week, I’ve been impressed about how my own community, First Unitarian Society of Madison, WI adapted quickly to not only do collaborative “streaming” services with other Madison-area UUs, but to also offer meditation groups via Zoom, bedtime stories, parent check-ins, singing, “knit ins”, children’s music time and spiritual education, virtual campus ministry, and even virtual coffee hours.
Taking Small Groups Online, Not Just Services
Here's an example from the events calendar of Mishkan Chicago, a Synagogue that has a vibrant online community:
Not Connected? Band Together, Or Use Hybrid Internet-Phone Tools like Zoom
Banding together with other local faith communities can help less-connected meetings, synagogues, and congregations stay connected even where Wi-Fi is a bit sparse.
Tools like Zoom offer phone dial-in options as well for folks who can’t get connected via a computer.
So what about "lifecyle" events? Weddings, b'mitzvahs, and the like?
I can speak from personal experience: My fiancé and I, who were planning a wedding and honeymoon for mid-May, have also had to adapt and we're glad that our faith community has as well.
We did our pre-marital counseling and ceremony planning with our minister online last weekend, and moving our cancelled wedding shower online – with the added bonus of enabling us to invite friends and family from all over the country.
Here are some of the other resources for faith communities that we’ve come across this week:
Faith Community Office Hours
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